Samara's five-piece ensemble consists of keyboards, vocals, viola, stand-up bass, and percussion. The primary songwriter, pianist Chris Smith, studied composition at Bard College and brings a thoughtful, sophisticated sensibility to the material. Lyrics are written by accomplished poet turned singer, Sarah Rhyins.
Viola player Kent Anderson artfully alternates lyrical lines with Rhyins' vocals, transcending traditional pop verse-chorus-verse construction. Drummer Andrew Wilshusen and bassist Joe Rosato Jr. add subtle textural and percussive undertones to flesh out Samara's hybrid approach.
The sum of these parts is a sound that ranges from moody and melodic to dramatic, up-tempo and rhythm-driven. Most songs travel across a minor-chord based soundscape where the vocals and viola weave in and out in a pensive bittersweet tone.
Samara has been playing for two years and has performed at numerous in San Francisco venues, including Cafe Du Nord, the Rite Spot, the Red Devil Lounge and the Parkside Tavern.